14 August 2019
All year long, we plan and pray for an extraordinary week. Of course, this is our prayer for Creation Fest every year, but when you name it and say it out loud, not just as your prayer for the week but your theme for it also, it feels doubly weighty, of increased significance.
The message of extraordinary when it first comes to us is simply this: that an extraordinary God would come down to us, to transform our ordinary lives by his power and grace into something of eternal value, infinite worth, and unspeakable joy.
In our ordinary, every day lives, we see this extraordinary transformation in a thousand little ways. In bringing new team members to serve alongside us with vision and joy to make a free festival for nearly 12,000 people come to life against all reasonable hope and expectations. In watching the teen that we walk with through unspeakable pain give her life to Jesus and hope overshadow her heart and make her come alive.
We see it in a family of 472 volunteers, formed in the crucible of service, drawn together in worship, created in community and grown into an extraordinary sum that is so much more than its parts. The miracle of that, every year, is more than extraordinary and grows in us a hope and a gratitude that can never be fully expressed.
Living life on a mission is the extraordinary blessing of a life lived with a creator God that is able to do immeasurably more than we can ever ask for or imagine. We did not imagine that it would involve winds so strong that festivals around us would close their doors and we would have to rearrange ours to stay open. We did not know that marking the passing of a baby lost too soon would, in tears and remembrance, bring about the blessing of a new understanding of what it means to live in community and family with other believers. The presence of God sometimes changes our plans, and always changes us.
In it all, we remember these words:“Whoever watches the wind will not plant;
Whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.” (Ecclesiastes 11:4)
So we keep our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, and we trust that he will work His extraordinary will out in our ordinary lives again, and again and again. We plant, we pray, we reap. We look to Him and trust for extraordinary grace.
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